1 John 1:6-10 - Jesus Forgives - Live a Repentant Life

Good morning everyone - I would like to welcome you to Troy Community Church...we are glad that you are able to join us today.
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day.

I want to welcome our Facebook Live folks!
You can download my slides and my notes at the bottom on our web site. This can help you follow along. There are hyperlinks in the footer of the web site.

A reminder, you can join us in worship...there is a link at the top of the website to give an offering.

We will continue our study of 1 John this morning.
I want to cover the beginning of a very interesting section of this letter, 1:5-10.

Let's read the text and then I am going to give some background info:

5 This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you:
God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.

6 If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from every sin.

8 If we claim to be without sin,
we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in us.

I have touched on this before. As a young man I was in a Christian circle that believed in Christian perfection.

Texts like this one provided the foundation for this concept. The idea that we can actually live above sin.

I agonized and disciplined myself to find holiness.
I spent hours in bible reading, study and prayer...hid myself away from the world...trying to hide from temptation.

For 3-4 years I did not watch television, I did not watch sports or listen to any "secular" music.

I was desperate to find the place I read about in this text...to be free from ALL darkness, to be cleansed from ALL unrighteousness and to live without sin my life.

I was being taught that this was possible. To really live for Jesus was to be sin-free...and I needed do my best to attain it.

I want to do something a bit different this morning.
Close your eyes and listen to this verse as I slowly read it.
After I read it I am going to pray for our time together.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.


We all tend to read the biblical text like it was written in a vacuum. As if John was sitting in a room with Jesus dictating to him what to write.

We read these verses as if they were written down just for us...living in 21st century America.

Now, to some degree, this is true, but
The first you need to know when you read these verses is that John is dealing with a group of people in his churches who are living AND TEACHING things that go against the basic concepts taught by the apostles.

You remember last week I mentioned that the Johannine churches were in Asia Minor and our starting place for this comes from the seven churches in Revelation 2-3.

There has been a great deal of debate among scholars about this. I just a read a fairly convincing text on this matter.

If you go through the seven letters you can get a fairly good list of issues that are addressed to the people in these churches - there are several words and phrases used in 1 John that are used to these Revelation churches.

Here is a simple list:
- false apostles
- false Jews and "liars"
- meat offered to idols (2x)
- immorality (3x)
- "synagogue of Satan" (2x)
- Satan has his throne (Pergamum)
- endured hardships and persecution

We are going to see John address "these" people numerous times:
- they claim to know God, but they fail to keep His commandments - 2:4
- he calls them "liars" 5 times
- 2:22 - who is a liar?
the one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah
- anyone who "hates his brother" is a liar - 4:20
[Remember, John's "new" commandment in the "new" covenant is to love one another] - he repeats this 3-4x
- they do not believe that Jesus the Messiah came in flesh - 4:3, 2 John v7

So when we read these texts we need to remember these things - John is speaking to a real group of Christians dealing with real issues.

Let's look more closely at some of this text:
v6 - 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

I have always read this verse as a condemnation of my personal sinfulness...my sinful struggles.

I am not saying that this is a completely WRONG reading of the text....BUT look at what John says in v9 just below this.

[Slide] 9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother is still in the darkness.

So it appears that light and darkness in these verses are not talking about sinful behaviors, but love for...OR not loving brothers in Christ. The issue is the integrity of the community.

Now read v7 again:
7 But if we walk in the light...
we have fellowship with one another [allelous] and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from every sin.

So read in context:
IF we walk in the light [we love one another]
THEN we DO have fellowship with one another
AND His blood purifies us from EVERY sin!

Does anybody remember the message I gave JUST before we started 1 John?

I spoke on LOVE from 1 Cor 13.

I talked about how as a church...a community...we MUST LOVE one another.

John the apostle (elder) is known in early Christian tradition as the "Apostle of Love."

It seems clear to me that when John is talking about Light and Darkness...at least in these verses...he is not talking about sinful behavior as much as love in the community.

The lack of love towards the brethren would be sin, however.

But let's keep reading:
8 If we claim to be without sin,
we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

10 If we claim we have not sinned,
we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

John is responding to two "claims" these false teachers are apparently living and promoting to the churches that go against John's teachings.

Somehow they think they are sin free.
There are several places in the NT where it appears that certain people in the church think they have been liberated from all rules, from the "legalism" of the law - so that nothing is sinful.

From the seven letters in Revelation, this seems to be what is happening here.
John does not accept this at all.
He says this is a lie and there is no truth in it.

Here is my primary focus this morning:
Now look at John's statement stuck in between these two lies:
9 If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and just
He will forgive us for our sins
AND HE WILL and purify us
from all unrighteousness.

Remember this:
HE will purify YOU.
Yes, you need to cooperate...but He is faithful to do the good work in your life.

I want to share an insight I learned when I was young.
Perhaps THE MOST important concept that kept me from sliding into the abyss of sinfulness while I struggled.

Instant Repentance
Instant Forgiveness
Instant Joy

This verse is a great one:
IF we confess our sins...
When you sin...when you fail...
Just Quickly repent.
Our tendency is to wallow around...beat ourselves up...feel defeated.

There is something in us that thinks,
"If I punish myself...God will accept me more."

Believe me, I KNOW this feeling.
But when we do this it is actually a self-centered pride.
"I should not have sinned like this."
"I am a better Christian than to struggle like this."

Or it can say,
"Jesus, your suffering and death...was just not good enough for my sins.
My sins are just too bad...I need to suffer in order to FEEL accepted by you."

This is not the kingdom of Light.
It is not giving Jesus the reward of His suffering.

When you fail Him - Quickly Repent!
"God please help me. Forgive me Lord.
"I cannot do it without you."

Does He forgive you? YES!
Always? YES! If you truly have remorse.

If a believer in one of John's churches went to an idol temple, got drunk and ate meat offered to Zeus...then had an encounter with one of the priestess women.

What should he do?
Repent and get outta there.
He cannot sit there, ask for forgiveness and then have another drink...which then leads to another round with the young woman.

Quickly Repent.
Sometimes that means we need to physically move.
Even if you are struggling with bad thoughts...and it's all in your head,
MOVE! Get up and go for a walk...move away from your computer or television...just Move!

God forgives instantly.
Receive back His joy into your life.
And get moving again.

Live a life of repentance.
I ask for forgiveness probably several times each day.
Mostly they are stupid little things...but I know they are ME falling short and I just want God to know...that I KNOW I have missed it.

I think living a repentant life builds humility in us,
And I think if you live a repentant life you will find sin's hold on you begins to lose it's grip.


Troy Community Church

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Troy Community Church
Christian Fellowship
1300 Henderson Highway
Troy, AL 36079